Ukraine news – live: Kyiv says giving up land to Russia would backfire

President Zelensky meets US officials

Ukraine’s lead negotiator has ruled out any ceasefire deal in which Kyiv would cede territory to Russia or allow Russian troops to remain on its land.

Such concessions would backfire as Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting, said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelensky who is leading talks with Moscow.

“The war will not stop. It will just be put on pause for some time,” Mr Podolyak said in an interview with Reuters in the presidential office in Kyiv.

“They’ll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale.”

A Kremlin minister today said that sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have caused serious logistical problems in the country.

Vitaly Savelyev, the Russian transport minister, said Moscow had been forced to look for new trade corridors as sanctions have hit its operation on the standard shipping route to Asian partners.

Earlier, the Russian foreign ministry warned western sanctions would prove destabilising for the world economy.


Prime minister promises to ‘redouble efforts’ to provide vital food and aid to Ukraine

Boris Johnson has resolved to “redouble efforts” to provide vital food and humanitarian aid to the Ukrainians, and ensure the country is able to export to the rest of the world.

The prime minister told Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky that Britons are “1000%” behind his people in a call on Sunday evening, No 10 has said.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister paid tribute to the incredible courage demonstrated by the president and his family in recent months. He expressed his profound hope that they would, along with all the people of Ukraine, be able to return to life as normal one day soon.

“President Zelensky thanked the Prime Minister for the UK’s ongoing support.

“The Prime Minister reiterated that the British people are 1000% behind the people of Ukraine. He outlined both the most recent defensive support the UK has sent to Ukraine and the further sanctions being imposed on (Vladimir) Putin and his supporters.

“The leaders discussed Putin’s despicable blockade of Odesa, Ukraine’s biggest shipping port. The Prime Minister resolved to redouble efforts to provide vital food and humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and ensure that the country was able to export to the rest of the world.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain22 May 2022 22:18


#ICYMI Biden signs $40bn Ukraine aid bill

Joe Biden has signed the $40bn Ukraine aid package after the bill was physically flown to South Korea, the White House confirmed (Graeme Massie writes).

The Senate passed the bill following the president’s departure from Washington to Seoul, but he signed it on Saturday before his state dinner with South Korea’s president Yoon Suk Yeol.

The Biden administration says that an official brought a hard copy father bill on a commercial flight to Asia for the president’s signature. Mr Biden also signed a bill to improve access to baby formula during the current nationwide shortage.

The Ukraine bill includes money for military and humanitarian aid for the war-torn country as it continues to try and repel Russia’s forces.

Liam James22 May 2022 21:58


Russia’s war on Ukraine can only be resolved through ‘diplomacy’, says Zelensky

Ukrainian victory over Russia will be hard won through diplomacy, said Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview marking the third anniversary of his inauguration last night.

“We did not start this war. But we have to finish it,” he said in the hour-long broadcast recorded on Friday and released on Saturday.

“Victory will be bloody in battle. But the end will be in diplomacy. We want everything back. Russia does not want to give anything away.”

An end to the fierce war can only be reached “at the negotiating table”, he added.

Zelensky: Ukraine is not looking to attack Russia

Liam James22 May 2022 21:30


World faces ‘unprecedented’ wave of hunger as Ukraine harvests worse than feared

The world faces an unprecedented wave of famine and hunger triggered by a further “explosive” increase in food prices, experts have warned, after new figures revealed the extent to which the war in Ukraine will decimate global supplies of wheat.

Forecasts supplied exclusively to The Independent suggest that Russia’s brutal campaign, including its blockade of vital Ukrainian ports, is likely to cause even deeper disruption to food supplies than was previously feared.

Wheat production is now expected to be halved this year – a significantly worse outcome than previous forecasts predicted, said MHP, one of Ukraine’s largest exporters.

More worryingly, Ukraine will export less than a quarter of the amount of wheat it exported last year, according to the company.

Liam James22 May 2022 20:50


Russian officer ‘says he resigned out of guilt’

A Russian officer who reportedly resigned weeks into the invasion of Ukraine told CNN he left his post out of guilt.

He said while driving in a military column after crossing the border he would hide his face as he was embarrassed to be seen by Ukrainians on their land.

After a couple of weeks he was deployed to accompany equipment in need of repair, where he was able to listen to the radio and hear the news.

He said: “That’s how I learned that shops are closing in Russia and the economy is collapsing. I felt guilty about this. But I felt even more guilty because we came to Ukraine.”

Soon he told his commander of his wish to resign. “He told me there could be a criminal case. That rejection is betrayal. But I stood my ground. He gave me a sheet of paper and a pen,” he said, adding he wrote his resignation there and then.

Accounts of Russian troops refusing to fight have been appearing often in the western press recently.

Liam James22 May 2022 20:05


UK ‘unprepared’ for soaring food prices and shortages, says head of government advisory body

The UK is unprepared for huge food price hikes and shortages of essential goods that will be triggered by the Ukraine war, the head of a government advisory body fears (Rob Merrick writes).

Ian Wright has told The Independent of growing concerns that there is no proper plan for a “scary” future of disrupted food supplies, warning: “This is a bigger crisis than energy.”

Cooking oil, which is used in crisps, ready meals, biscuits and mayonnaise, has already been rationed, while rising fertiliser and animal feed prices are hitting domestic production.

Supplies of donated food by charities and community groups – co-ordinated by an organisation with no government funding – will run out as millions more flock to lunch clubs and homeless shelters, it is feared.

Liam James22 May 2022 19:20


Senegal prepared to supply gas to Europe in lieu of Russia

Senegal is ready to work towards supplying the European market with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the country’s president said, as the Russian supply is shunned by countries in opposition to the war in Ukraine.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz met Senegalese president Macky Sall in Dakar today and discussed how Europe could access Senegal’s billions of cubic metres of gas reserves.

Russia provided 41 per cent of Europe’s LNG before invading Ukraine but the continent is now seeking alternative suppliers. Germany, which was particularly reliant on Russian gas, said it could help Senegal explore a gas field holding untapped reserves.

Liam James22 May 2022 18:43


Full story: Sanctions have ‘virtually wrecked all logistics’ in Russia

A Kremlin official admitted that western sanctions were stopping the Russian economy from functioning.

Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev told state media that punitive measures had “virtually wrecked” Russian trade logistics, the Kremlin’s transport minister was quoted by Interfax as saying.

He said Russia was being forced to consider alternative trade routes, including the north-south corridor running from Moscow through central Asia to India.

“The sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation today have virtually wrecked all the logistics in our country. And we are forced to look for new logistics corridors,” Mr Savelyev said.

Liam James22 May 2022 18:10


Russian-appointed mayor injured in explosion

The Russian-appointed head of the occupied Ukrainian town next to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was injured in an explosion on Sunday, a Ukrainian official and a Russian news agency said.

Andrei Shevchik, who was appointed mayor of Enerhodar following the Russian army’s occupation of the town, was in intensive care following the attack, Russia’s RIA news agency reported, citing a source in the emergency services.

“We have accurate confirmation that during the explosion the self-proclaimed head of the ‘people’s administration’ Shevchik and his bodyguards were injured,” Dmytro Orlov, who Ukraine recognises as mayor of the town said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Enerhodar is a town with a pre-war population of over 50,000.

Many residents work at the two power plants located next to the town, one of which is the Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest nuclear power station in Europe. Ukraine has previously complained that Russia’s occupation of the plant raises the risk of a nuclear disaster.

Liam James22 May 2022 17:30


Ukraine rules out giving land to Russia

Ukraine’s lead negotiator has ruled out a ceasefire that would involve Russian forces remaining in occupied areas or any deal with Moscow that involved ceding territory.

Making concessions would backfire because Russia would hit back harder after any break in fighting, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said.

“The war will not stop. It will just be put on pause for some time,” Mr Podolyak said in an interview with Reuters in the heavily guarded presidential office.

“They’ll start a new offensive, even more bloody and large-scale.”

Recent calls for an immediate ceasefire have come from US defence secretary Lloyd Austin and Italian prime minister Mario Draghi.

Liam James22 May 2022 16:59


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